How it feels

With deepest apologies to the One who once copied these words for me, I must now copy them for someone else.  The context is very different, thus I hope to hold them in my heart and also pass them on.  But sometimes someone else’s words are better, and in this case, these are the best to convey the delicacy, the quiet, deft, infinitely powerful touch, that is helping to heal me.

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

by E. E. Cummings

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
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The Word

Carved on the walls of my innermost being, deep and without voice, is a word.  It is the mirror, the hand, and the eye.  It writes my true self.  Evaluates my true worth.  I don’t yet know exactly what that word is, but I have a list of synonyms:

Wrong

Defective

Empty

Weak

Diseased

Cursed

Hollow

Wasted

Loser

I wish to rewrite that word.  I can’t do it alone.  I have chosen you to excavate, to represent, to be the hand that writes.  I wish you to be the one who helps me find the new word, and to be the one who carves it.  You have shown yourself to be trustworthy, and you have offered me your love, a love which I have begun to internalize, and which I return with the full force of my most innocent self.  

“We” exist within this therapeutic container, which is so rigid (you have constructed the most reliable walls, which instills such peace within me), and unyielding, and narrow.  But within this container are limitless horizons, infinite possibilities, each as real as any other.  Within this container, I am allowed all the power of creation I need, and you are allowed all the flexibility to be whatever I need you to be, to facilitate that creation.  Within this container, you are my chosen mother, the bearer of a love that feels unbreakable.  A love that I feel, not just know about.  And that love, made powerful by my acceptance of it, is strong enough to open every door to that inner chamber wherein lies the word.  

Our work is unfinished.  I have to let you go, and trust that you will return.  In the meantime, I’ll do all I can to hold that feeling, keep it real, so that if we work together again, I won’t have to rebuild it.  I hope, in some way, you are able to do the same.  And if, god forbid, we don’t cross paths again, I will find a way to do the work without you.  I am still afraid, though I have support and will not allow myself to crumble.  I will honor what we have made, by carrying it through.

Good lord

Whoosh!  The very fact that I was willing to release that stinky-ass poem to the world should dispel any misgivings I have that I am still worried what other people might think of my self-expressions.  

Unfinished

Tonight

I took three great breaths

conjured liquid darkness

set fire to the portside sinew

 

Tonight 

all waters were stilled 

a promise was kept;

no soul will drown tonight.

 

and the clumsy thunder of

my dancing feet 

tips continents off their shelves and

puts the earth to right again

 

Let all who dwell here raise our heads

and cast our eyes upon the proving moon:

We have not lost the sun.

The long fall through the middle

What to do, while cartwheeling through space?

I note the flashes of ground below as I spin, measure geography and points of entry, planning a landing spot as if I had aileron and rudder with which to choose.  Elaborate mapping, as if I had more control than just continuing to breathe and keep eyes wide.  Tears fall upward, and the occasional crash into cliffside or boulder, the whip of branches across my face, are welcome: I am grateful for that violent sense of self in unhelpful space.

She has released me, her face another flash of landscape, concern and love a series of snapshots that bring comfort and fresh grief.  I am alone again, in between; motherless, awake, alive, unsure.  I am no longer what I was, am not yet what I will be, and in between, this long, long fall, in which I am all, and nothing.

 

Objects fly through the air, stars wheel through the universe. All fall eventually. If we become obsessed with definitively mastering the decline, we are lost. If we achieve peace within the intervals of rising and falling, we find grace.

(Arthur Chandler, On the Symbolism of Juggling: The Moral and Aesthetic Implications of the Mastery of Falling Objects. http://www.juggling.org/papers/symbolism/)